Pop Culture Monday: Can You Tell I’ve Been Crying?

“Clue”, a SMART comedy I actually enjoy. I also dig Python and Black Adder — any comedy that doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator. That excludes most of what’s out there, sadly…

…That, in short, summarizes why I hate dramatic movies.

I am one of the few women who will stand in the theatre lobby and get irritated because all that is playing is rom-coms and dramas.  My nightmare date consists of showing up to the cinema on a first outing with a guy who gasps and says, “Hey, they’ve got “Schmaltzy Coming Of Age Movie”!  Or how about “Toilet Humour Abounds”?  Or “Maid In Manhattan?”  (Sorry, J.Lo)  I would rather put a pen through my eye.  Give me “The Movie Where Stuff Blows Up”, or “Completely Detached Popcorn Movie With No Emotional Involvement” any day.

“Transformers?”  M’kay.  Michael Bay usually has good effects.  Horrible character development and plot holes aplenty, but who’s thinking about that when Decepticons are invading Chicago?  Pas moi.

“The Avengers”?  “Pacific Rim”?  “Olympus Has Fallen”?  “The Bourne Identity”?  How about “Star Wars” or even “The Evil Dead”?  Sign me up.  When I go to the movies, I want one thing — to be entertained.  I don’t go to be spiritually or emotionally moved, or even really to learn anything.  I learned my lesson with my theatre experiences as a small child, specifically “E.T — The Extra-Terrestrial”, and “Return Of The Jedi”.  I had two vastly different experiences.

In “E.T.”, I was only four years old, and someone insisted that everyone go to the local theatre.  So off we went.  I didn’t understand the nuances of the film.  I was bored.  All I knew was that E.T. wanted to go home, and the little girl had dressed him like a dolly.  But by the time Elliott and E.T. have a symbiosis so strong that E.T. is screaming and Elliott is crying, I was traumatized.  I remember walking up and down the aisle, looking for comfort from adults who were crying, too.  It was a wretched time.

A couple of years later, out comes “Return Of The Jedi”.  I was now six years old, and really, really wanted to go because my dad was so jazzed about it.  My younger brother would rather go swimming, so my mom takes him, and it’s just me and my dad at the theatre.  It.  Was.  Epic.  There was an obvious bad guy.  An obvious good guy.  Cool lasers.  Robots.  Action I understood (bad guys chases good guy, good guy gets away or wins).  And teddy bears!  I was hooked.

Don’t get me wrong.  I will watch the occasional drama or comedy.  I saw “Titanic”.  Cried.  “August Rush”.  Cried.  “i am sam”.  Cried.  I fell asleep during “Snow Falling On Cedars”.  I have since given up.  I also had the misfortune of being forced to see “The Breakup” (seriously?), “Observe And Report” (Seth Rogan should hang his head in shame), and “Bridesmaids”, which I found more embarrassingly self-absorbed and ridiculous than funny.  The dudes in “The Hangover” were just too stupid to take; they made me want to slap them, not root for them.  Even though I finally get it, I still won’t watch “2001 — A Space Odyssey”; too much of what Arnie Carvalho of NowPlayingPodcast.com calls “artistic douchebaggery”.  Still do “The Shining”, though.

This seems counterintuitive compared to what most women will tell you they want to watch for date night.  To be honest, it’s almost humiliating.  I’ve always known I’m not like the other girls, but going to the movies with my gal pals often has me shifting uncomfortably in my seat because I just don’t want to sniffle and cry in front of them, or I don’t want to be bored for two hours watching fools learn a basic life lesson.

So if you’re like me, take heart, dear friend!  There’s more than one of us out there,  so let’s create our Netflix queues with pride.  Not every woman needs tears and a happy romantic ending.  Sometimes the hero just finishing the film with all his limbs intact is all we need.


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